One month ago in this space, I vowed not to write about the Warriors again until they won three games in a row. I am now going to break that promise, for a number of reasons, but mostly because I just can’t help myself. I’ve been trying to wean myself off the soap opera that is the Golden State Warriors for several years now, but every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in.
Over the last couple years, I’ve gotten into numerous discussions about whether or not the Warriors are cursed. I strongly believe that they are, and the evidence in favor of this belief continues to mount. Consider the events in Warriorland over just the past few weeks:
The Marc Jackson Fiasco: This little drama actually began in the offseason when the Warriors exercised their option to keep Jackson, who had received a six-year, $24.375 million offer from the Houston Rockets, despite the fact that they didn’t really want him. Jackson, the reasoning went, was as asset whom the W’s would not let walk away for nothing. And so Jackson languished on the bench in the NBA equivalent of cryogenic stasis, waiting for 90 days to pass so the Warriors could trade him. The 90 days came and went, and still Jackson sat, looking spiffy but disgruntled in his unsoiled electric blue sweats.
With the trade deadline approaching, the Warriors were said to be fielding several offers for Jackson. And on the last possible day, they did indeed deal Jackson to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Here’s what they got: little-used, 35-year-old center Dean Garrett and a second-round draft pick in 2007. That’s what I said, 2007.
In the interest of fairness, I must point out that Garrett’s contract will expire at the end of the year, which may have salary-cap advantages that my tiny monkey brain cannot grasp. But I don’t care. This whole thing was a catastrophe from the beginning, yet another example of inevitable disaster that befalls everything the Warriors undertake.
And to top it all off, a few days later papers around the country carried this quote from Minnesota’s Wally Szczerbiak: “[Jackson is] a really big guy who plays the game like it’s supposed to be played…He’s not built for a bunch of clowns like they have in Golden State.”
The Madness of Antawn Jamison: Just last year, it appeared that forward Antawn Jamison was on his way to becoming the player the Warriors had expected him to be when they gave up Vince Carter to get him. He averaged 24.9 points per game and displayed a jump-shooting prowess that was as unexpected as it was welcome.
This season, Jamison has regressed noticeably. He’s still putting up almost 20 points a game, but his jump shot has deserted him. The weird part is that Jamison refuses to admit that this has happened. He goes on nonchalantly launching up 22-footers when he would be much better served by sticking with his bread and butter, which is putbacks and floaters from the painted area around the basket. In a recent game against Houston, Jamison at one point was 7-for-19 from the floor: 7-for-7 from the paint, and 0-for-12 from everywhere else. And yet he went on firing away from deep! Excuse my italics, but it was very frustrating! I shouted at the screen, “What is wrong with you?”, but really I knew the answer: The curse has driven him insane in the membrane.
The Plague of Bats: And in what may be the eeriest Warriors-related development ever, the team is being shadowed by bats. In two consecutive road games, one in San Antonio and one in Houston, bats made their way into the arenas where the Warriors were playing. That cinches it, don’t you think? The curse is real—ignore it at your peril.